Toys 'R' Us made its long-awaited return to the Internet this week and everything looks almost exactly the same as it did. From the semi-outdate site layout to the infamous logo, it feels like 2017 again. And while shoppers can still browse a wide selection of toys and games, they can’t actually make a purchase on ToysRUs.com. All products are redirected to their Target.com listing, and shoppers must complete checkout there.
It’s safe to assume that Toy 'R' Us and Target will split up those sales somehow but neither company got into specifics on that.
And Target isn’t stopping at helping the e-commerce side of things for Toys 'R' Us. They’re also going to provide support for the two brick and mortar stores opening up later this fall.
Analysts are a little wary of this new partnership, and don’t have much faith in the longterm success of this setup. Jason Goldberg, chief commerce strategy officer of Publicis Communications said
"If Tru Brands was truly trying to rebuild a sustainable toys business, they would never want to outsource their e-commerce to a third party and certainly not to a rival.” He also recalled the mistake both Target and Toys R Us made in the past by having online operations outsourced to Amazon.
But Toys 'R' Us doesn’t seem to be slowing down on making new friends. Not too long ago they announced a partnership with b8ta and Candytopia to help make their stores more interactive for kids. And Target on the other hand has also been pretty busy making moves in the toy department. The company recently launched Disney shops within dozens of Target stores nationwide with more planned for 2020. So for right now, this partnership might work out okay. It’s very possible that Toys 'R' Us is using Target as a jumping off point until they get steady on their feet. After all, things didn’t end well for them last time, and making strategic partnerships could mean success down the road.